Pochettino spoke of the media circle that surrounds the PSG squad and was upset by the “lack of respect” of a question

Mauricio Pochettino gave an extensive interview (Photo: Reuters) (ANNEGRET HILSE /)

Mauricio Pochettino coexists with hours of absolute tension in his position as coach of the Paris Saint Germain. The demand to command a star-studded dressing room puts him in an uncomfortable situation where it seems to matter little that he leads Ligue 1 by wide margin and is close to qualifying in the Champions League. The irregular functioning of the team aroused criticism about his leadership and the Argentine decided to defend himself in an extensive interview.

We must not forget that we have in our hands the best players in the world, but also their families, their media circles, their fans.. Is not easy. Some people say: such a player does not adapt, such a player suffers, such a player has problems. And the personal? And the other employees of the club, have no problems? But we have obligations. You have to find a balance, and that also applies to the players. We are often the guarantors to remind players: Look, we’ve been arguing for half an hour and we’re not talking about tactics, system. We talk about the first thing to settle in a group: coexist in a harmonious way. If you do not solve that, it is very difficult to find this harmony in the field “, assured the DT when talking about the” human management “of a squad in an extensive note with the French newspaper L’Equipe.

The round trip with journalists José Barroso and Arnaud Hermant also had a moment of tension when he asked him about PSG’s style: “There has been a lot of talk about the lack of identity of PSG. Are you a style coach or, following what I said, do you advocate adaptability? “.

Poch He did not hesitate to go out to the crossroads: “I say this with great respect, but this question reflects a certain lack of respect. It’s like telling you that you have no style in your writing. Of course you have one, you are a professional and that is what you are sitting there for. Every coach, at the highest level as a fan, has a style. When you work to become a coach, you develop your style: your tastes, your management, your methods with your staff. We are a staff that has a defined style, a philosophy, ideas. Then the question is how and when you can implement what really suits you. And that depends on the requirements of the club, as we said before. If you look at what we did at Espanyol, Southampton or Tottenham, you will see the style of play that attracts us. If you watch a match from our first and third seasons at Tottenham, it is not the same. Because there was a strategy to get there ”.

The man who arrived at the French bank in January this year made the difference between clubs that hire coaches to develop a project and those that bring in technicians to achieve a goal. “What does PSG want? It is important to know that. PSG wants to win. Win the Champions League, the Championship, the Cup, all the games. We did not come looking for each other to build a project, wondering what we needed to develop our ideas, or what we like. We came here to adapt and win, with the structure and characteristics of the players that are there. It’s very different. We are here to develop PSG’s ideas, not to develop our defined ideas ”, he clarified.

Pochettino's show with his translator at the PSG conference
Pochettino with D’Agostino, his field assistant and translator

At the same time, he gave his position on one of the hottest issues that he must handle in the dressing room: the ownership of the arc: “When you have two players that you trust and that prove every day that they can play, it would be unfair to prioritize one of them. That does not mean that there is not a time when we make a decision. But I would like you to understand that as a coach the easy thing would be to say: this is number 1, this is number 2. It takes courage to put the two in competition, to make them understand that they must be ready when you call them and act. Instead of saying that we lacked the guts not to designate a number 1 and a number 2, I would rather we emphasize the bravery of PSG to have taken Donnarumma when they already had Navas and Rico”.

The other high voltage point in which he gave his opinion is the possibility of removing Lionel Messi, Neymar or Kylian Mbappé from the field, with the consequences that this could have on these stars. We are talking about the best players in the world. If they don’t have any problems, why do you want to remove them? Even if they don’t play as you expect, with their talent, they can be decisive at any point in a match. That is why the club made the financial effort to hire them. You cannot evaluate this type of player like any other player. That’s why they are what they are ”, he explained.

He also starred in a singular moment when they asked him why he held the press conferences and interviews accompanied by two of his assistants, Jesús Pérez and Miguel D’Agostino, who also takes the role of translator: “I would even like to have all the staff technician with me (smile). We have an internal management like this. I want to know what Jesus or “Miki” thinks of what I am saying. I also want you to listen to what I say, what we say to the media. We have a lot of respect for the media, they are part of this environment. Our followers need to hear what we say to know what we think. When I started, some journalists were friends. I have a journalist friend in Argentina. We are the same age and started our careers together. Today he is the most famous journalist in the country and I am the PSG coach. He’s my friend but I never give him an interview because I don’t like what he does (laughs) ”.


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